Retired Gen. Wesley Clark Clark, a retired four-star general who was the NATO commander during Kosovo, has in effect never stopped running following his unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination in 2004 — the first time he ever sought public office. Status: Not Declared.
NPR logo Retired Gen. Wesley Clark

Retired Gen. Wesley Clark

Candidacy Status: Has not declared candidacy.

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At a Glance: Wesley Clark

Wesley Clark got a late start in the 2004 presidential race, and he never really caught up, winning only one primary — in Oklahoma. This time around, the train is moving a lot faster, but Clark has yet to form a campaign committee. He does, however, have his own political action committee, WesPac. It's dedicated to electing Democrats to local office, Congress and the White House.

As a retired four-star general, Clark has more credibility than many Democrats in discussing national defense. His record as NATO commander and leader of Allied forces in Kosovo in the mid-1990s makes him an internationalist alternative for those who are turned off by what they see as the go-it-alone foreign policies of the Bush administration.

Clark is undoubtedly smart. He finished first in his class at West Point and was a Rhodes Scholar. But despite a weekly podcast and regular cable TV appearances, he has yet to achieve the visibility of some of the more charismatic candidates in the race.

Aside from an appearance at the Democratic National Committee in February, Clark has not appeared in any candidate forum, and he has not participated in any of the debates. Many speculate that he may ultimately decide that it's too late to make a second run.

Four years ago, Clark won the backing of many longtime Clinton allies and staffers from his home state of Arkansas. This year, many of those veteran Clintonistas are otherwise occupied.

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